Men’s basketball team earns first NCAA Tournament bid since 1988

by | Mar 9, 2020

Coach Bob Sundvold's squad received an at-large berth when the bracket was revealed on Sunday night.
NCAA Tournament-bound

The men’s basketball team is headed to the NCAA Division II Tournament for the first time since 1988. The Tritons received an at-large berth when the bracket was revealed on Sunday night.

For the first time since 1988, the University of Missouri-St. Louis men’s basketball team will be in the NCAA Tournament.

The Tritons (27-6) celebrated their at-large berth into the NCAA Division II field Sunday night as they watched the bracket revealed in Anheuser-Busch Hall. They will compete in the Midwest Regional March 14-17 in Indianapolis.

“What’s spectacular is that this group of young guys got something done that hasn’t been done here for quite a while,” Coach Bob Sundvold said after the announcement. “I’ve walked in that gym every day for seven years and saw 1988 up there, and we really talked about doing a better job, getting the right players, getting the team going in the right direction. For this group to do it, we’re really excited, not only for our team but for our school.”

UMSL, the No. 3 seed, will face No. 6 seed Southern Indiana in a quarterfinal game on Saturday. The Tritons and Screaming Eagles have already met three times this season, including this past Friday night in the Great Lakes Valley Conference Tournament semifinals with UMSL posting a 78-63 victory. The Tritons also defeated USI 73-68 on Jan. 30 in St. Louis, while the Screaming Eagles edged UMSL 67-66 on Feb. 15 in Evansville, Indiana.

The rest of the field includes top seed and host Indianapolis against No. 8 seed Walsh, No. 4 Michigan Tech vs. No. 5 Bellarmine and No. 2 Truman State vs. No. 7 Ferris State.

The Midwest Regional semifinals are scheduled for Sunday, and the final is slated for Tuesday, March 17.

This mark’s UMSL’s third NCAA Tournament appearance with the 1972 team earning the first berth.

The Tritons already own a school record for victories as they enter NCAA Tournament play. They’ll be looking to bounce back from a 53-52 loss to Truman State in Sunday’s GLVC Tournament final.

Mary Ann Mitchell

Mary Ann Mitchell